Monthly Archives: January 2010

Pyrex Bowl Set WINNER!!!

And the winner selected using random.org is…..

kayshem!
Her comment below was chosen.
kayshem said…
I posted the giveaway on my FB profile.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?ref=profile&id=100000034270086
Katie Morris Crider
kayshem@hotmail.com
DECEMBER 24, 2009 5:02 PM
HUGE thanks to Ashley & CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway, and another HUGE thanks to all who entered. Please check back regularly…I have more giveaways planned in the near future!

New Year = New Goals

Rather than start the year out with resolutions which tend to be broken within a couple weeks of making, we have decided as a family to make a goal chart. We each have come up with a list of things we would like to either change or accomplish this year individually and as a family. Having this goal chart in a central place to remind us and keep us accountable, will hopefully help us to achieve the greatness we are striving for this year. As a bonus, I am posting it online as well to keep myself in check. So, here is the long awaited Alexander (and Trinity B.) Family 2010 Goal Chart!

Family Goals:
Stick to the budget, spend more time together, grow in Christ as a family, study the Bible together, less yelling/arguing.
Individual Goals:
Greg – Read/study Bible daily, lead a family Bible study, spend more alone 1 on 1 time with kids,
talk to or lead at least one person to Christ every 2 months, drink more water.
Jess – Read/study my Bible daily, exercise 3x/week, follow Flylady plan, eat healthier, finish ALL uncompleted craft projects, open an Etsy store, stick with habit chart.
Trinity – Read/study Bible daily, get all A’s & B’s for the rest of the school year, learn Calligraphy, learn to do a back bend and to properly do a cartwheel, be obedient, follow chore chart, learn to swim.
Kylie – learn to ride my bike without training wheels, join Girl Scouts, read/study Bible daily, learn to swim, exercise daily & eat healthier.
Kara – learn to ride my bike without training wheels, become an independent reader, learn to tell time, learn to swim, join Girl Scouts, exercise daily.
Grayson – follow chore chart, be obedient, write my name all by myself.
We are striving to accomplish all these goals this year (a couple of the kids’ goals are not completely under our control, but we are going to do our best to help them achieve these) and hope to be adding more goals regularly as the year progresses. Don’t be surprised if you see a revamped Goal Chart sometime in the next several months…we are making it happen in 2010!

Grayson’s Two Hugs

Grayson, my sweet 3 year old…it is so weird to say 3 instead of 2…comes up with the funniest things. Yesterday, even though Greg is on vacation, he got called into work for a few hours and upon arriving home asked Grayson ‘Have you been obedient today?’ Grayson replied, ‘No, Daddy. I been good boy.’ Then later while giving Daddy ‘Good Night’ hugs, I managed to snap these pictures. This first one is what he calls his ‘mean’ hug.

He’s been doing this for quite awhile with Greg…just one of the father & son things they do…and I finally was able to get pictures.
This second one is his ‘Grayson’ hug, which he also sometimes calls a ‘great’ hug.
I think it is so cute that he has these two hugs for Daddy. The ‘mean’ hug is always used in a joking manner followed by a big ‘Grayson’ hug…and is almost always reserved for Daddy. Grayson is such an affectionate and loving kid…he is so much like his Dad. I couldn’t have asked for a better father/son duo. I am so blessed.

Thrifty Thursday ~ Alice.com

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Alice.com. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve mentioned in the past a site called Alice.com. Since we are snowed in, I haven’t been shopping this week and I wanted to really draw your attention to this site. Alice.com is a nifty little site that has some really cool features. One is automatic coupons. These are coupons that are available on 1000′s of products and are automatically applied when you add the item to your cart. For example, Suave Invisible Solid – Women’s Deodorant is regularly $1.73, but there is a $0.75 automatic coupon, making it just $0.98.

The sort options and shop by room feature are also extremely helpful. It makes it much easier to find the best deal on products or to find specific products without having to scour several aisles and do crazy math equations in your head. Alice.com provides you with a cost effective way to manage your household essentials online. When you place something into your cart, you can set up a reminder so that rather than running out of an item, you are reminded that you may be getting low so you can reorder.
If you are like me, and do not enjoy purchasing essentials such as toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, and shampoo, Alice.com will make your shopping trips a bit easier. They also offer a referral program. You can post a banner like the one below on your site, share a referral link, or invite friends using their e-mail builder and you receive a bonus. Your friends receive a $10 credit in their account once they spend at least $50 on the site, and you receive a 3% kickback on any orders they place for an entire year.

The above benefits coupled with the fact that Alice.com‘s prices are comparable to or lower than my local store, PLUS FREE shipping makes my choosing to purchase our household essentials from the site a ‘no-brainer’. Don’t just take my word for it though, check out Alice.com for yourself & leave a comment here saying what you think. I’m pretty sure if they ever start to sell food I may never go to the grocery store again…can I get an ‘Amen!’?

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To-Do Tuesday 2010 – Week 1!

It’s 2010 already, can you believe it!? As I’ve said in previous blog posts, I really feel as if God has big plans in store for my family. What better way to prepare for big plans than a big To-Do List! Greg is off this week until Friday, so I am going to take advantage of it! (Don’t worry…he’s getting to do ‘man vacation’ stuff too like play Modern Warfare 2 ’til the wee hours of the morning. ;)
1. Read daily – personal quiet time. (I’ve been doing really good on this one!)
2. Purge kids rooms of toys they don’t play with or have out grown.
3. Reorganize the kitchen & purge of non-used items.
4. Stick to weekly menu plan!
5. Rearrange T & K’s bedroom for a fresh start to the new year.
6. Have Greg put all holiday (Christmas, Easter, Fall, etc.) decorations in the attic. (Not just in the garage!)
7. Organize the laundry room to make room for craft storage.
8. Donate all purged items. (Actually take them out of the house & to the thrift store for Pete’s sake!)
9. Avoid drama!!! (Been totally failing this one…not my fault, but still annoying.)
10. Have Greg clean/bring in kid’s HUGE doll house from garage.
11. Post our Goal Chart for 2010!
12. Finish planned blog posts! (Thanksgiving dinner, Gingerbread house/cookie decorating, recipes, Christmas, & G/K’s Birthday’s).
13. Plan menu & grocery list w/ coupons for 2 weeks.
14. Go grocery shopping.
I ‘stole’ the following from Crazy Adventures in Parenting…the fearless leader of To-Do Tuesday. =)

Would you like to join us this week for To-Do Tuesday? Start with just a few things. Don’t over-do it your first couple of times. You’ll grow to become a list-a-holic later, start small now, though, k?
Just so you know, you can join us at anytime, it doesn’t have to be on Tuesdays – the list will go up every Tuesday for you to link to, but you can make your list and link to us at any point in the week!

Remember, with “To-Do Tuesday”, we’re attacking our to-do lists each week, blogging about our lists and what we’ve got going on, and sharing it with each other to help keep each other accountable. Everyone should come back here to link up in the MckLinky as the central “To-Do Tuesday Hub” so we can visit who’s participating and offer encouragement to each other throughout the week. Don’t forget to add the “To-Do Tuesday” button to your post, linking back to this post!

Let’s continue to cross items off our list as we go and help support each other in completing our lists! Don’t forget my useful HTML tutorial on how to effectively “cross-out” or √ “check off” your items on your to-do list!

Joining us? We’re using a new linky alternative called MckLinky! Please add your link below (to your To Do Tuesday post, and not the main page of your blog).

Answered Prayer…

Well, God is working quick this year, and has already answered a BIG prayer for us. One of our family goals for the new year was to follow a budget. A few days ago I made out our budget for the month of January nearly to the penny…an estimation of his income of course because it seems to be different every time. Anyway, we then were hit with an unexpected expense. (It shouldn’t have been unexpected, it was just poor planning on our part. I have now factored this into our budget for upcoming months so this won’t happen again.) We almost ran out of propane (our heat) on one of the coldest days of the winter thus far.

We had our thermostat, which is usually between nice and toasty 72 & 74 degrees, set on a chilly 64 for the entire weekend. We had to come up with a plan of what to do if the propane went completely out. We were nervous. In our tiny kitchen, while the kids clothed in sweat suits slept beneath fuzzy blankets, we prayed. We prayed for peace of mind. We prayed for warmth. We prayed that God would stretch our propane until we could get it filled. We prayed that we would be able to find the money to cover it. We prayed hard.
After calling the propane company first thing Monday morning, and being told they probably wouldn’t be making any deliveries due to the roads being slick we became nervous…again. Unwarranted as usual. When are we going to learn to blindly trust? Why is it so hard? After another mostly chilly day, the propane truck rolled into our driveway sending me into a fit of jumping up and down like we’d won the lottery. Then we became a bit nervous about payment. Greg’s paycheck hadn’t cleared yet and we weren’t quite sure if they were going to expect payment immediately. We wrote the check in faith that it would be okay, and then without asking for payment, the propane truck drove away. I then began mentally restructuring our budget, trying to come up with ways to squeeze an extra $400 out of it. It was impossible. We have to have gas for our vehicles, food, our utilities. There was very little flexibility…nothing near $400. I was concerned, but tried not to voice my worry. I wanted to trust in God, and tried to force myself. Sometimes it just what I have to do. I pushed it out of my mind and enjoyed the evening with my kids. We made Zubber bracelets and played Tumble.
After dinner, I asked Greg when we would find out the exact amount of his check so I could update the budget accordingly. We checked our online banking, and whaddya know…Greg’s check was almost exactly $400 more than we had budgeted for. So, to sum up…we messed up, we prayed about it, God fixed it, we are thanking Him and sharing this answered prayer, and are officially back on track. Once again, I’m tellin’ ya…2010 is gonna be an AMAZING year. Get ready.

Caught in the act!

After noticing a certain sneaky someone taking advantage of his sisters being distracted by their DS’s…I snapped a couple pictures, then interrogated. It went as follows:

Me: Grayson, did you touch Kylie’s cake?
Grayson: No.
Me: (stern voice) Grayson, did you touch Kylie’s cake?
Grayson: No, I didn’t, Mama.
Me: Then what are you doing in this picture? (show him picture on iPhone)
Grayson: (shocked look) Me touching Kylie’s cake.
Me: Grayson, you can’t tell lies. That is bad, okay?
Grayson: Okay, Mama.
Me: Grayson, did you eat any of the icing?
Grayson: No.
Me: Then what are you doing in this picture? (show him 2nd picture)
Grayson: (even more of a shocked look) Me eating icing.
Me: Son, you can’t tell lies. Okay?
Grayson: Okay, Mama…I sorry. (and then he hugs me)
Even though he made several toddler sized finger dents in Kylie’s cake (after we had already eaten), and lied about it, I can’t be mad at that kid…he’s too sweet and so stinking cute.

The Beginning of a New Year

The beginning of a new year is always bittersweet to me. I reflect on all the great times we’ve had the past year, how much the kids have grown and changed, all the things I wanted to do but didn’t, and so much more. I then look at the blank canvas before me, and plan out the things I want to accomplish over the next year. I also begin to realize that my babies are no longer babies, and my heart aches…even though I understand this is the way life is, it doesn’t make it any easier. We, as a family, are setting goals (personal & family) rather than resolutions…pretty much the same thing, but if we call them resolutions we end up breaking them within a couple weeks and then feel like crap. We are still working out the details, and since Trinity is not here yet to share hers, I am not posting them yet. I am going to post them here to hold us accountable. I feel that if you don’t share what you want with others, you are less likely to actually do anything. I will say, I am aiming high this year. I know God has big plans in store for us as individuals, and as a family. 2010 is going to be a year of big change, and I am nervous about the unknown, but excited as well. We are extremely blessed, but I know it is nothing compared to what God wants to give us…we are constantly putting limits on Him, and this year it stops. Bring it on, 2010! I’m ready.

So, to start out the year, my prayer for all my family, friends, and readers is that you gain a passion. That you make a difference in someone’s life. That you are abundantly blessed, and choose to share that abundance with others. And that you thank and praise God for every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day of this new year…the beginning of a new decade.